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The Guatemala Literacy Project


By Stella Almond - Posted on 19 May 2013

The Rotary Club of Kenilworth would like to invite Rotary Clubs, in District 1060, to join them in supporting The Guatemala Literacy Project. This is a wonderful example of international Rotary cooperation which is already is the subject of a global grant. They will be the first UK Rotary Club to join the project.

Rtn. John Stanton writes

The Rotary Club of Kenilworth has had over the years a wide range of international projects to support, water & literacy being prominent interests.

We have become increasingly aware of the severe problems of poverty, domestic violence & serious lack of privilege suffered by children in Guatemala. Guatemala is considered to be the most illiterate & least educated region in the Western Hemisphere. The Mayan Indian communities suffer systemic poverty, illiteracy & inequality.

Kenilworth Rotary has supported the Centro Infantil Bellota since it was set up some 6 years ago to give care & education to seriously under privileged pre primary children in Quetzaltenango (Xela), the second largest city in Guatemala -see www.mayachildcare.org, a registered charity #1110531. It has been a very rewarding project for the Club in terms of benefits to the Xela community in relation to the money expended – see item on www.kenilworthrotary.org.uk which includes a presentation by the President of Xela Rotary Club of a wall mounted Rotary wheel sent over by Kenilworth Rotary after the conclusion of one project at the Centro.

Looking to increase support for this small literacy project, we decided to think about approaching other Rotary Clubs, in North America as it is in their “backyard” & below the radar for most RIBI Clubs.

In the process, contact was made with the Guatemala Literacy Project www.guatemalaliteracy.org which enabled us to broaden our thinking considerably. It does not, however, cover pre primary literacy, which we will continue to support in Xela.

This project, which began in 1998, is a partnership between, at the moment, American, Canadian, other clubs, including from Japan & Cayman Islands & Guatemalan Rotary Clubs & the non-profit organization Cooperative for Education. CoEd’s services to GLP are provided free of charge. Some 67 Clubs & 16 Districts have contributed to the programme this year alone– see details on the site. 100% of contributions to GLP go directly to purchases of books, materials, computer hardware & training in Guatemala. There are no deductions for administration or fundraising.

A 2012/2013 Global Grant #1412387 is in process to benefit the GLP. It is hosted by the Clubs of Guatemala Vista Hermosa & Summit County, Colorado. If Kenilworth makes a contribution, it will be matched at 50% by The Rotary Foundation & any District Match (DDF) would be added to the grant & matched 1-1.

This year alone the GLP has raised over $221,000, enabling textbooks, computer labs & literacy projects to be provided to over 3780 Guatemalan children & their teachers – a wonderful example of what can be achieved by combining Rotary resources internationally.

The size of the problem is daunting, but GLP’s programmes are designed for long term sustainability. Each school sets up a rental programme whereby it rents items to its students for a small annual fee. Fees are put into a revolving fund to replace worn out books – very innovative.

I propose that Kenilworth Rotary Club will join this collective International Rotary effort & hope the other Clubs & District #1060 will follow suite. $1000 - £660 is sufficient to start involvement, which then can be enhanced with District & RI grants

Rtn John Stanton International Kenilworth

If your club would like to join with the Rotary Club of Kenilworth in supporting this worthy project then please contact Rtn John Stanton. 

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